[clug] Any ideas on what to look for to get an old PC running?

Brendan Jurd direvus at gmail.com
Mon Dec 22 13:49:37 GMT 2008

On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 10:51 PM, David Tulloh <david at tulloh.id.au> wrote:
> I'll second the suggestion of David Schoen, unplug absolutely everything.
>  You want to try to isolate the broken component as much as you can.
> You can simulate a power switch with a jumper, screwdriver, screw or any
> other metallic object.  Just short the two pins momentarily, don't connect
> it permanently.

Yes.  Note that your problem could also be caused by something
conductive being stuck behind the motherboard, which is shorting
contacts on the back of the motherboard straight on to the case.  I've
been bitten by that one before.

In order to rule this out you'll need to completely remove the
motherboard from the case, visually inspect for any rogue screws or
standoffs back there.  Then set it up with a minimal config (just the
PSU, no RAM, no cards, no drives) on your desk (or other nonconductive
surface of your choice) and try starting it up by shorting the pins
for the power switch.  If she lights up, your mobo and PSU are okay,
so you can install the mobo back into the case and test again, then
work your way up from there.

If you still get no action, either your mobo or your PSU is borked,
and my next move would be to open the PSU case and blow out the dust,
check that the fans work, etc.  As others have pointed out, all of
this carries a risk of some unintentional electro-shock therapy, so
use your noggin and be careful.

Good hunting!


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